Anti-war protesters rally in Ottawa as Canada urges citizens to leave Iraq
Dozens of protestors rallied outside Ottawa’s U.S. Embassy to condemn U.S. military actions in the Middle East.
It comes after Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani was killed in a targeted attack by the United States Friday.
It was one of more than 70 demonstrations happening around the world Saturday.
Demonstrators holding signs advocating for peace spoke out forcefully against the Trump Administration’s decisions in Iran.
“We are anxious of what’s going to happen in the next two or three days over the weekend,” Charlene Herrera, a member of Anakbayan Ottawa.
“Is it going to escalate more?”
Herrera wants Canada to take a stronger stance in deescalating the growing tensions between the U.S and Iran.
“We have a role in making sure there is international solidarity,” said Herrera.
“We want to be proactive, not reactive.”
“All we ever bring is mass human suffering and community destabilization,” said another demonstrator.
“It needs to stop.”
Sam Hersch, a member of Independent Jewish Voices spoke at the protest, asking for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to take a more active role in condemning any acts of war.
“We don’t want another war or a region to destabilize, we don’t want another world war like people are predicting,” said Hersch.
“We want a government focused on peace, not on complacent in war.”
In Toronto, a group of Iranian-Canadians stood in support of the Trump Administration, saying Iran is now a safer place that Soleimani is dead.
“I praise Mr. Donald Trump,” said Nasser Pooli.
“I stand with him, and I thank him for doing that.”
Global Affairs Canada says it continues to advise Canadians to avoid all travel to Iraq due to a continued volatile, unpredictable, and potentially dangerous security situation. They are strongly advised to consider departing by commercial means if it is safe to do so.
Meanwhile, NATO has suspended the Canadian-led training mission of Iraqi Forces, which is made up of about 250 Canadian personnel. Canada’s defence department said keeping those troops safe is paramount.